Last week I talked about my childhood home, the place that I grew up and that I still carry around with me.
This week I’m talking about the place I currently live: Ohio.
If you had told me six years ago that my life would consist of a husband, a child, a foster child, a pregnancy, a house, and living in Ohio…I would have been shocked. But mostly I would have been shocked by those last two things: owning a house and living in Ohio.
Although I am an American citizen, I never felt like I could call the States home. I came back to Ohio in 2009 to attend Cedarville University. Thankfully, I adjusted fairly well and made some friends who really helped me pull through the waves of culture shock. I met Theo halfway through our freshman year, and by the end of our sophomore year we knew we were going to get married. Our life was wide open before us, and we weren’t sure what types of things we wanted to pursue. Missions was at the top of our list, but we knew we didn’t want to go straight to the field right out of college. Not because we didn’t want to, but because we truly believe that we didn’t have the right training to go overseas and disciple other believers.
Theo was a year ahead of me at Cedarville, and we debated whether we should get married after he graduated (2012) or after I graduated (2013). We finally decided to go ahead and get married in 2012, and stay in Ohio until I was finished. That year turned into a job for Theo and here we are…four years later, still in Ohio!
I will admit that I’ve grown to like it here. I started out being anti-Patriotic. I know that a lot of MKs struggle with being patriotic, and I am no exception. We often miss our mission culture so much that we resent our “passport” culture. Thankfully, I have learned that while there are so many wonderful things about Niger, America also has fabulous aspects as well.
I’ve lived in Ohio for seven years now and here are some of my favorite things about it:
- Seasons. Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter are all in full force in Ohio!
- The landscape is beautiful, in different ways in all of those seasons!
- The people, so many different nationalities and languages and perspectives and economic standings.
- Our church, so full of people who have made an effort to include us, and who strive to follow Christ in all that they do
- The restaurants and coffee shops, electricity and running water…little luxuries that I often take for granted!
- The health care system and the relative ease with which I get to raise my children
- Cedarville University- the friends that it gave me, the opportunities it provided to me and the spiritual growth that I received from my years there
- The foster care system and the fact that our nation cares enough about these children to create a system (although not perfect!) to help them. I’m thankful that I get to be a part of it!
- Street fairs and state fairs!
Ohio, I’m thankful that you have given me so many beautiful years here, and I’m excited to see what else is going to come!